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Likely the drive came formatted for a PC; also likely that the existing data is PC based.. Reformatting the drive for your Mac (a good thing to do) WILL erase the existing data, but you may not need it...
If you want to save it anyhow, just drag-and drop whatever's on the Lacie (before formatting) to your desktop (maybe in a new folder if you'd like).
Then format the LaCie for the Mac (with journaling is best) and once done, you can drag the stuff you put on the desktop back onto the hard drive.
Use Disk Utility To completely erase a Macintosh hard drive that runs
OS X 10.3.x or above—not just individual files on the drive—you can
use the Disk Utility that is built into the Macintosh operating
How to Use Disk Utility to Erase a Macintosh Hard Drive (OS X
10.3.x or 10.4.x)
You must reboot your computer using the OS X system CD
that came with your Macintosh. To do so, follow these steps:
Insert the CD into the CD drive.
Hold down the C key during the startup
Select your preferred language. You will then see the Welcome
to the Mac OS X Installer window.
From the Installer Menu Bar, click Open Disk
Utility. You will then see the Disk Utility window.
In the left pane of the Disk Utility window,
click the drive you want to erase.
In the right pane of the Disk Utility window,
click the Erase tab.
From the Volume Format drop-down menu, select Mac
OS Extended (Journaled).
In the Name field, highlight the existing text
and type the name the hard drive is to be called after it's formatted.
NOTE: If you ever plan to connect another
computer running OS 9 to this hard drive, you'll want to install the Mac
OS 9 disk driver, so that this disk will be visible from an OS 9-booted
computer. If you don't know if you will do this in the future, it's
best to install these drivers.
The following are the available security options:
Don't Erase Data—This option only rewrites
the headers on the disk. Files can be recovered by forensics, disk
utilities, and other advanced recovery software.
Zero Out Data—There are forensics utilities
that, albeit expensive and time consuming, can retrieve zeroed-out data.
7-Pass Erase—This is considered sufficient by
government standards to erase data from a disk. It writes random data
over the disk seven times. It may take several hours or more to complete
35-Pass Erase—This makes it absolutely
impossible to regain any data off the drive. This option takes an
extremely long time, possibly more than one day.
Click the radio button in front of 7-Pass Erase
(recommended by UD).
Confirm you want to erase. The program will unmount the
volume, partition the drive, and rename the volume to the name you
typed in step #7 above.
to format the drive so that it works on a mac, it needs to be formatted in FAT32 format rather than NTFS format on the pc. you can download free software called swissknife that lets you do this. make sure you back up everything on the drive before you format it in swissknife other wise all your data will be lost
You can run a data recovery app on the drive and attempt to pull off any data still accessible. I recommend the GetDataBack Data Recovery apps from http://www.runtime.org . Get the one for the file system on your thumb drive and give it a try. These apps have recovered data from "dead" drives for me more times than I can count.
Formatting a drive only resets the FAT (File Allocation Table), where
it stores the information about the files on the drive. You need to get
a utility that can read the data directly from the drive, bypassing the
allocation tables. There are many available, most are not free.
Try going to TuCows.com, they are sure to have the utility you need. Be
sure not to write any new files to the drive and you should have no
problem in recovering your data. Search for: Formatted Drive Recovery